When Do Flying Ants Come?

Originally posted on June 13, 2023 @ 12:05 am

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Flying ants, also known as alates, are winged reproductive ants that can often be seen swarming in large numbers during certain times of the year. Many people may wonder when flying ants come out and what causes their sudden appearance. In this discussion, we’ll explore the different factors that contribute to the emergence of flying ants and when we can expect to see them.

Understanding the Life Cycle of Ants

Ants are one of the most fascinating insects on earth, with their complex social structure and well-organized communities. They belong to the family Formicidae and have over 12,000 species worldwide. Ants are eusocial insects and live in colonies that can range from a few individuals to millions of ants. Each ant has a specific role to play in the colony, and the queen is responsible for laying eggs that will eventually become adult ants. The life cycle of ants consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

Eggs

Ant eggs are tiny and oval-shaped, and they are usually laid in batches by the queen ant. Egg-laying is a continuous process for the queen, and she can lay thousands of eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are usually placed in a secure location within the colony, where they are protected from predators and other threats.

Larvae

The eggs hatch into larvae within a few days, and this is the stage where the ants grow the most. The larvae are fed by older worker ants who regurgitate food for them. The larvae moult several times as they grow, shedding their skin each time.

Pupa

After the larvae reach their maximum size, they enter the pupa stage, where they are transformed into adult ants. During this stage, the pupa is encased in a cocoon, and the ant’s body undergoes significant changes.

Adult

The adult ant emerges from the cocoon and is now fully developed. The adult ant’s primary function is to work for the colony, and they perform specific roles, such as foraging for food, caring for the young, and defending the colony.

Flying ants are a common sight during the summer months, and they usually emerge during the mating season. This is the time when the queen ant produces winged male and female ants, which will mate and start new colonies. The process of producing winged ants is known as alate production.

Key takeaway: Flying ants emerge during the summer months for mating and alate production, and the new female ants must find a suitable location to start a colony. While flying ants are not harmful to humans, identifying the nest and using insecticides or natural remedies can help remove them, and calling in professional pest control may be necessary for severe infestations. Overall, understanding the life cycle of ants and their social structure can be fascinating.

Alate Production

Alate production is triggered by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and light. The queen ant will produce winged ants when the environmental conditions are favorable for their survival. The winged ants are usually produced in large numbers and are often seen swarming around light sources.

Mating

The winged male and female ants will fly out of the colony and mate in mid-air. After mating, the male ants will die, and the female ants will shed their wings and search for a suitable location to start a new colony.

Colonization

Starting a new colony is a risky business for the female ants, as they have to find a suitable location and establish a nest. Many of the female ants will not survive this process, and only a few will be successful in starting a new colony.

How to Deal with Flying Ants

Flying ants may be a nuisance, but they are not harmful to humans. However, if you have an infestation of flying ants in your home, it’s essential to take action to remove them. Here are some tips on how to deal with flying ants:

Identify the Nest

The first step in dealing with flying ants is to identify the nest. Look for signs of ant activity, such as ant trails, and follow them back to the nest. Once you have located the nest, you can take steps to remove it.

Use Insecticides

Insecticides can be an effective way to remove flying ants. There are many insecticides available on the market that are specifically designed to kill ants. Follow the instructions carefully when using insecticides, and make sure to keep children and pets away from the treated area.

Use Natural Remedies

If you prefer to use natural remedies, there are several options available. One of the most effective natural remedies is diatomaceous earth, which is a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms. Diatomaceous earth is safe to use around children and pets and can be sprinkled around the ant nest to kill the ants.

Call in the Professionals

If you have a severe infestation of flying ants, it’s best to call in the professionals. Pest control companies have the expertise and equipment to deal with all types of ant infestations. They will be able to identify the nest and take the necessary steps to remove it.

FAQs: When Do Flying Ants Come?

When do flying ants typically appear in the UK?

Flying ants typically appear in the UK between the months of July and September. However, the exact timing of their emergence can vary depending on a number of factors such as weather conditions and location. In general, flying ants tend to come out in large numbers after a period of hot, humid weather.

Why do flying ants come out?

Flying ants come out for one primary reason: to mate. Winged male ants fly around searching for queen ants, who they will mate with before they die shortly after. This is also the time when young, virgin queen ants will take their nuptial flight to search for male ants to mate with, before starting their own colonies. The mass emergence of male and female flying ants is known as “flying ant day”.

What should I do if I have flying ants in my house?

While flying ants in the house can be a nuisance, they are usually harmless. If you have flying ants in your house, the best thing to do is to clean up any food and drink spillages, and to seal up any cracks or crevices that may be providing entry points. If the problem persists, you can contact a pest control professional for advice.

How do I get rid of flying ants?

Getting rid of flying ants can be tricky, especially because they tend to come out in such large numbers. Some strategies for dealing with flying ants include using a vacuum cleaner to suck them up, using insecticide spray, or setting up ant traps. However, it’s important not to kill off all the flying ants in your garden, as they play an important role in the ecosystem.

Can flying ants be harmful to humans?

Flying ants are generally not harmful to humans. They do not bite, they do not sting, and they do not spread disease. However, if you have an allergic reaction to ant bites or stings, you should take the same precautions with flying ants as you would with any other type of ant. Additionally, carpenter ants can damage wooden structures, so it’s important to deal with any infestation promptly.